Lower extremity joint-level responses to pelvis perturbation during human walking

Mark Vlutters, Edwin H.F. van Asseldonk* (Corresponding Author), Herman van der Kooij

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)
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    The human leg joints play a major role in balance control during walking. They facilitate leg swing, and modulate the ground (re)action forces to prevent a fall. The aim of this study is to provide and explore data on perturbed human walking to gain a better understanding of balance recovery during walking through joint-level control. Healthy walking subjects randomly received anteroposterior and mediolateral pelvis perturbations at the instance of toe-off. The open-source modeling tool OpenSim was used to perform inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics analysis. We found hip joint involvement in accelerating and then halting leg swing, suggesting active preparation for foot placement. Additionally, responses in the stance leg’s ankle and hip joints contribute to balance recovery by decreasing the body’s velocity in the perturbation direction. Modulation also occurs in the plane perpendicular to the perturbation direction, to safeguard balance in both planes. Finally, the recorded muscle activity suggests both spinal and supra-spinal mediated contributions to balance recovery, scaling with perturbation magnitude and direction. The presented data provide a unique and multi-joint insight in the complexity of both frontal and sagittal plane balance control during human walking in terms of joint angles, moments, and power, as well as muscle EMG responses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number14621
    JournalScientific reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


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